03 November, 2012

I wasn't sure this day was going to go as well as it did.  I managed to set my alarm wrong.  So when I woke up at 8:30AM it was already too late to make the early morning hours at the park.  Furious with myself, I was sure I was going to spend the rest of the day waiting in the longest lines known to man.  I had already heard horror stories of people waiting just to get into Hodgmeade, not to mention the rides themselves.

Upon arrival at the park I decided to delay the waiting for just a bit and headed for the biggest roller coaster in the park: THE INCREDIBLE HULK.  Single ride line, yes please!  No wait at all, walked onto the platform and right onto the ride.  It's definitely a good coaster. Twists, turns, loops, this one has it all.  It does knock your head around a bit, but it's got an amazing launch. 

Then I steeled myself for what I knew would be an agonizing wait at the Wizarding World.   Wait... what?  No lines for Hogsmeade?  Surely I just got lucky walking in, the lines for the rides must be insane.  I stow my bag in a free locker and head into the DRAGON CHALLENGE.  This part of the park clearly has been designed to handle some extremely intense crows.  The path to the entrance of the ride winds through trees and flags preparing you for the Triwizard Tournament.  Right next to the entrance you pass Mr. Weasley's old Ford Angelina. 

Once inside, it's dark.  Very dark.  As someone who wears glasses, sometimes I just keep my sunglasses on inside so I'm not switching.  NOT a good idea.  :-)  I walked through half blind, terrified I was going to trip.  Even inside is prepared for a crowd and it takes some time to walk through the empty queue.  Yes I said empty.  The only point I had to wait was when I decided to wait for the front row.  And there were only about two groups of people in front of me. 

Unequivocally this was my favorite ride.  It's a great coaster where you hang from the track and your feet dangle.  There are actually two different tracks that are pretty similar.  I have to say I felt the drop on the teal track was more breathtaking than the burgundy.  Yes, you know it, I rode this one twice.  I actually tried to ride it again before I left, but they had closed for something.

A few other things not to miss when you visit.  Butterbeer.  Not that I need to tell any other nerds to try this, but did you know there were two types?  Just a regular cold beverage and a frozen one.  And the "foam" at the top.  I think it's made of marshmallow fluff.  The frozen was by far my favorite, but I'd love to hear what anyone else likes. 

Frozen Butterbeer
Liquid Butterbeer

I also had lunch at the Three Broomsticks.  Talk about amazing decor.  You're right there expecting any moment for the characters to walk through the door.  And the food was good too!  One last beverage that I found delicious... Pumpkin Juice!  Now I didn't buy it at the carts outside, but with my meal.  I thought it was spectacular, but looking at the ingredients, I can't imagine how it all comes together to taste so good. 

After that I decided to walk around the rest of the park a bit.  I walked through Jurassic Park and the Comic Book land.  Ending up at Marvel Island I decided to check out the Spiderman ride.  Now I'm not a huge Spiderman fan, but this ride was great!  It's like the Simpsons ride at Universal combined with Indiana Jones at Disney.  Moving carts and amazing 3D.  I highly recommend this one.

Back once more to the Wizarding World where I waited in line to go into Olivander's.  It's a highly detailed tiny room, where they only let 30 people in at a time.  An old man picks one young person to test wands with some lovely effects.  I could only imagine how excited that child must be to suddenly find herself part of the experience. 

 Here are a couple of bonus images just for fun. 

One last ride on THE HULK and I was done.  I'm sitting right now in the airport ready to head down to Ft. Lauderdale and work.  I have rehearsals early tomorrow but all my presentations will be finished by noon on Monday.  I hope there will be something interesting to post for you there, but it may just end up being my hotel room and the ocean.  Until then!

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